3 sugar Addict Struggles You Should Know Before You Quit

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Why do we eat so much sugar in the first place? To put it simply - sugar tastes amazing and it makes us happy. It’s natural to want to be happy. But there is a high price to pay for eating too much sugar. It is making us sicker and sicker. It is also the reason why our jeans are too tight. 

Why is sugar so hard to give up? There are many scientific studies in the last five years to support the fact that sugar is addictive. They even go so far as to say sugar is as addictive as cocaine.

I want to share three personal struggles I went through in my quest to give up sugar. Then I want to offer you some hope and share a solution.

1. The horrible withdrawal symptoms felt too hard to overcome. Logically, I knew eating too much sugar was bad for me and it was making me fat. So I decide to give it up. I cut out all processed sugar from my diet. I threw out all the cocoa puffs, Reeses’s peanut butter cups and chocolate cookies. But when I gave up sugar it made me feel sick. I got headaches, I felt so tired and I got a foggy brain. I couldn’t concentrate. I felt like I needed sugar to make me feel better. Cutting it out of my system made me feel worse. There wasn’t much motivation for me to give it up. Why would I want to get sicker and be unhappy? I wouldn’t!

2. Sugar is literally everywhere and in almost every food we buy, from grocery store shelves, to convenience stores to fast food chains to restaurants to holiday parties, weddings, funerals, birthdays, every special occasion we can think of. My first attempt at cutting sugar from my diet went like this: I cut out sugar and went cold turkey. I started eating real whole foods like apples and strawberries, spinach and broccoli, avocado and almonds, chicken and rice. Everything was wonderful as long as I could stay in my “bubble.” If I could go to the grocery store every 2-3 days and stock up on the foods on my meal plan, if I could prepare the exact menu I wrote down. But then the unexpected, “life disruptors” would happen. I needed to go to the birthday party, I had to host a super bowl party, I had to spend a weekend traveling and eating at restaurants. It was just so hard to keep sugar out of my diet. It is literally everywhere and in all foods. 

3. Eating sugar goes hand in hand with having a good time with our friends. A few years ago I was on a sugar fast and had to attend a school function for my kids. It was a poetry gathering and they were reciting their favorite cowboy poems. Then we stayed for the spaghetti feed - spaghetti, garlic bread, salad and a huge dessert table with chocolate cream pies, chocolate brownies and cookies, lemon squares, pumpkin rolls all calling my name. But I decided to stay true to my sugar free commitment. It was the longest night of my life. I ate a bit of the spaghetti, secretly wondering how much sugar was in the pasta sauce and noodles, I skipped the garlic bread and had a little salad. I was afraid to put too much dressing on the salad because I didn’t know what was in it. I knew most salad dressings were loaded with sugar and unhealthy ingredients. So I sat there while everyone else ate. They all looked so happy and content with their heaping plates of food. They looked so relaxed and satisfied. I felt very alone. I figured most people in the room knew nothing about secret ingredients in their food and how they were slowing making them sick. I couldn’t tell anyone how I felt. I needed to get enough food on my plate to not draw attention to myself. I felt alone. Shortly after that night, I fell off my sugar wagon and went back to eating food just like everyone else. I wanted to fit in. I didn’t want to feel left out. 

The struggles to give up sugar and live a healthier lifestyle are real. It’s not easy. There are many, many challenges to overcome, many bumps along the way. But there is a better way to live than from one sugar binge to the next. There are longer lasting ways to true happiness. That’s why I stuck with it and started over every time I’d fail. I believe the only way you truly fail is if you quit and give up completely. 

I also believe in setting yourself up for success. I believe you need four things in order to loose weight and live a healthy lifestyle, free from the bonds of sugar:

  1. You need a solid fitness plan 
  2. You need proper nutrition
  3. You need a support system
  4. You need some short term rewards in order to see those lasting results

That’s exactly why I created the Cowgirl Up Fitness Challenge. This 30 day challenge is exactly what you need to quit the sugar and get in great shape to ride and win. You get everything you need to succeed and I’ll be with you every step of the way. 

Andrea Otley is a horse crazy wife and mom of 3 from a small ranching community in SE Oregon. She is a recovering sugar addict who lost over 30lbs of baby weight without dieting, starving or feeling deprived. She is an online nutrition and fitness coach who is obsessed with helping other horsewomen live a healthy lifestyle in an unhealthy world. Visit www.andreaotley.com

NutritionAndrea Otley